The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. In the business world, however, the only absolute is the starting point and the line is never straight.
Navigating your way to success requires a solid team of employees and a solid strategy. Organisational planning means knowing who you have, how they’re helping or hurting your business’s growth, and the best way to align those employees in order to realise your company objectives.
Simply put, organisational planning keeps your business moving forward while also preparing it for the road ahead.
Organisational planning begins and ends with your business’s organisational structure, which usually is represented by an organisational chart. This corporate snapshot establishes a company wide pecking order that helps determine responsibilities and reporting relationships.
A strong organisational structure paves the way for strong decision-making in all areas of organisational planning. Additionally, it serves as the “you are here” spot on your business’s road map. The company may need to switch routes from time to time, but without knowing its current location, you might as well let go of the steering wheel and punch the gas.
Once a framework has been created, its effectiveness must be constantly evaluated to make sure each department or area can:
“The goals of the workforce must combine to satisfy the goals of the business,” says Belinda Walsh, Head of Product Services at Navigo. “A formal performance management process ensures this. It shows employees how they contribute to the business’s success and the value of their work. Additionally, it will expose training and development opportunities.”
Organisational planning is also organisational maintenance. By evaluating and re-evaluating your staff, you can identify gaps and redundancies, manage workforce changes more effectively, and increase productivity.
Perhaps the biggest reason organisational planning is a must is because it’s the basis for every workforce decision you’ll ever make. Employee moves should have a positive impact on the business, both now and in the future. To make the right calls, you’ll need to be able to explore as many of the “what-if” scenarios as possible and create strategies based on the predicted outcomes.
“In business, change comes at you from all directions – sometimes simultaneously,” Belinda says. “A company that anticipates change and demonstrates agility in its decision-making processes will thrive. A company that doesn’t and isn’t, won’t.”
Here are a few ways to be better prepared for the changes your business will inevitably encounter:
Make performance appraisals count Having a viable employee assessment process engages your staff and increases productivity. This improves morale and creates opportunities for advancement while bolstering company culture. Everybody wins.
Start succession planning When top performers at any level of the organisation retire, resign or rise up through the ranks, filling their positions should be smooth. And if you can identify internal candidates for the role, you’ll save money on recruiting and training.
Do the math Whether through mergers and acquisitions, layoffs, or other shifts in headcount, the organisation as a whole must be able to adapt quickly and move forward. Have managers propose hypothetical plans that deal with these situations, limiting surprises when they actually happen.
A well-informed workforce decision is the product of collaboration. This means a steady stream of communication between managers, executives and HR staff across all levels of the company. Organisational planning strives to break down silos of information and departmental isolationism.
“If your organisational structure is as concrete as it should be, you’ll know who to talk to regarding workforce decisions,” says Belinda. “These decision-makers and HR leaders are the ones to consult with when it’s time to make changes to your staff.”
When communication breaks down, it’s only the first domino to fall. Efficiency suffers, morale dips, and customer service and satisfaction drop as well. All this takes its toll on your bottom line, which is why maintaining company wide communication is so important to organisational planning.
To gain fast access to visualise organisational structure, download our free org charting trial today. OrgPlus will allow you to import your existing HR data in just a few simple clicks, providing you with insights you need to design an effective business road map.